What Are You Reading, Emily Kohring?

 Emily Kohring is a theatre artist and educator, and an arts administrator.  She is currently Executive Director of Artscope, a youth arts organization in Tower Grove Park. She consults with schools and educators around Missouri on arts learning in K-12 classrooms.  She lives in St. Louis and is a Montana girl at heart.  

My favorite book as a child: The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warren.  I really thought it was the life that the four children got to live on their own in a boxcar and get their household items from the dump.

The best book I read for school:  East of Eden.  My 11th grade Honors English teacher chose a novel for each student he thought we would enjoy. I was enthralled. 

A book I wish I'd written:  The Harry Potter series.  I would like to have the kind of genius where you can create an entire world in your head. 

My literary hero: So many right now--Roxane Gay, Rebecca Solnit, and Jesmyn Ward.  Also, Sarah Vowell and Maile Meloy, my Montana homegirls.

Worst book you ever read: I will admit I read maybe the first chapter of 50 Shades of Grey to see what the big deal was, but I couldn’t get past the poor writing. 

Do you prefer digital or paper books: Paper, although when I don’t want to keep my husband awake my Kindle comes in very handy.

Character in a book that you would be friends with: Harriet the Spy.  I think we had similar inner lives when we were kids.

A book I've pretended to have read: Moby Dick, at least the last ⅔ of it!

The book people might be surprised to learn I love:  Even though I’ve had a career in theatre, I don’t really love to read plays. I don’t want to ruin the magic of live theatre by reading the play in advance!  I basically only read plays I am working on, otherwise I will wait to see it live.    

My literary crush: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whose work I was introduced to by a guy in a bar.

Books that have influenced my art/music/profession (whichever applies): Vivian Gussin Paley’s book You Can’t Say You Can’t Play had a huge influence on my approach to arts education and how important it is to build a welcoming classroom community. 

What I'm reading now: Homegoing by Yaa Gayasi.  Highly recommended.  

Many thanks to Emily Kohring for answering our book-related questions! The library carries many of the books that Emily mentioned in her interview-- check them out below: 

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